During this one-week stay, explore the history of Kraków, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a major center for Poland’s cultural and academic life.

Starting at: $3,840 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Kraków's engaging main square  Kraków's Main Square and the Renaissance Cloth Hall  Medieval interior detail of St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków  Wawel Castle, Kraków  Poland's Wieliczka Salt Mines, a World Heritage site  Sculptural detail found in the Wieliczka Salt Mines  Old Town Warsaw, a World Heritage Site  Kraków's St. Mary's Basilica

Kraków

A One-Week Stay in Poland

9 days from $3,840

During this one-week stay, explore the history of Kraków, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a major center for Poland’s cultural and academic life.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Excellent tour. As a first-time solo traveler, I found the fellow participants welcoming and friendly. Very easy to be with, both the other single travelers as well as the couples. Great group of people. 

- Mary, C.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person off of the 2019 departures when you book by December 7, 2018!

Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Considered one of Europe’s most enchanting cities, Kraków is a major center for Poland’s cultural and academic life. Explore the city’s history as well as many important sites nearby during this one-week stay at the Hotel Unicus Palace, situated in the historic area.

Highlights Include

  • Kraków: Highlights of your city tour include the Old Town (a World Heritage site), Wawel Castle courtyard and royal cathedral, Market Square, the Gothic Basilica of the Virgin Mary, and the 16th-century Renaissance Cloth Hall.
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine: Walk amid extensive sparkling salt carvings and underground lakes (442 feet below ground) in Europe’s oldest salt mine, a World Heritage site.
  • Ojcow National Park: Tour the unusual rock formations of Poland’s smallest national park and visit Pieskowa Skala castle located within the park boundaries.  
  • World War II Sites or Nowa Huta: Visit Auschwitz and Birkenau to commemorate the many lives lost here during World War II. Or choose to spend the day at a model communist community that transformed from a center of political propaganda to a place of revolution.
  • Warsaw: Take the train to this capital city where you’ll visit the Chopin Memorial, the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial, Madame Curie’s house, the Royal Castle, and St. Anna’s Church in delightful Old Town. 

Excellent tour. As a first-time solo traveler, I found the fellow participants welcoming and friendly. Very easy to be with, both the other single travelers as well as the couples. Great group of people. 

- Mary, C.

2018 Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S. for Kraków, Poland

Depart the U.S. on an overnight transatlantic flight to Krakó​w, Poland.

Day 2 – Krakó​w

After arrival at John Paul II International Airport, transfer to your first-class and centrally located hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a welcome kit with maps and general information about Krakó​w and its environs. There’s time to unpack and relax before joining fellow Smithsonian travelers for an orientation walk of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. Meet new friends this evening during a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (D) 

Day 3 – Krakó​w

A full American-style buffet breakfast is included each morning at the hotel. Start the day with a fascinating talk about the historical heritage of Kraków. Begin exploring the city at Wawel Hill with a visit to explore the castle courtyard and the Royal Cathedral. The historic center of the city is brimming with things to see including the Market Square, the Gothic Basilica of the Virgin Mary with its famous wooden altar, and the 16th-century Renaissance Cloth Hall, the world’s oldest “shopping mall.” Continue to Collegium Maius, the most venerable college of Jagiellonian University. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties in Kraków's Old Town. The balance of the day is free of planned activities. (B,L)

Day 4 – Krakó​w

Join your Smithsonian Journeys expert for an introductory presentation. Discover the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a World Heritage site of sparkling salt carvings and fascinating underground lakes. Wieliczka is Europe’s oldest salt mine and was established over 700 years ago. You’ll see over a mile and a half of chambers and galleries that sit 442 feet below ground. The Chapel of St. Kinga is the most remarkable with altars, chandeliers and sculptures carved entirely of rock salt. This afternoon, follow your own path and explore the city on your own. This evening join your fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for dinner and folkloric performance at Miod i Wino Restauracja. (B,D)

Day 5 – Zakopane

Drive to the resort town of Zakopane, beautifully situated in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. Known as the most popular resort in Poland, it is famous for its spectacular mountain views and its charming alpine architecture. See the many wooden churches and charming buildings located in the town. For a panoramic view, you’ll take a funicular or cable car up into the mountains. There is free time to explore or relax in an outdoor café. Return to Kraków and later in the afternoon, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys travelers corner. (B,L)

Day 6 – Auschwitz or Ojców National Park

Today there’s a choice of tours. For those who want to visit Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, the tour begins at the museum with a short documentary film for a glimpse into Poland’s World War II history. Then, a guide will take you through the exhibits at the camp. Continue to Birkenau for a short visit. Lunch is included en route. 

For those who have opted for a journey through Ojcó​w National Park, the excursion begins with a short walk to see numerous impressive rock formations including the famous “Hercules Club.” Some limestone rocks exceed 164 feet. Later a guide will take you through the 14th-century Pieskowa Skala Castle, often said to be the pearl of the Polish Renaissance overlooking the forested Pradnik River Valley. Lunch is served at the castle's restaurant. This afternoon the educational focus is on the history of Poland and its people including famous Poles like Chopin, Copernicus, Walesa, and Wojtyla. (B,L)

Day 7 – Warsaw

Head for the station and travel by rail through the Polish countryside to the capital city of Warsaw. See many of the city’s historical and cultural landmarks like the Chopin Memorial, the Royal Route, the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial, Madame Curie’s house, the Royal Castle, and St. Anna’s Church in Warsaw’s Old Town. Enjoy time at leisure for leisurely sightseeing and lunch. Before returning by train to Kraków, visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum, which includes an archive of historical information on the Uprising in 1944 and the recording of the stories and memories of still-living Uprising participants. Enjoy dinner with fellow travelers at the hotel upon your return to Kraków. (B,D)

Day 8 – Kraków

Join your Smithsonian Journeys expert for an engaging presentation. The entire day is at leisure so that you can follow your own path. This evening gather with fellow travelers for a special farewell dinner at a select popular restaurant. (B,D)

Day 9 – Depart for the U.S.

Get an early start and transfer to the airport for return flights to the United States. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2019 Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S. for Kraków, Poland

Depart the U.S. on an overnight transatlantic flight to Krakó​w, Poland.

Day 2 – Krakó​w

After arrival at John Paul II International Airport, transfer to your first-class and centrally located hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a welcome kit with maps and general information about Krakó​w and its environs. There’s time to unpack and relax before joining fellow Smithsonian travelers for an orientation walk of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. Meet new friends this evening during a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D) 

Day 3 – Krakó​w

A full American-style buffet breakfast is included each morning at the hotel. Start the day with a fascinating talk about the historical heritage of Kraków. Begin exploring the city at Wawel Hill with a visit to explore the castle courtyard and the Royal Cathedral. The historic center of the city is brimming with things to see including the Market Square, the Gothic Basilica of the Virgin Mary with its famous wooden altar, and the 16th-century Renaissance Cloth Hall, the world’s oldest “shopping mall.” Continue to Collegium Maius, the most venerable college of Jagiellonian University. Enjoy a lunch of local specialties in Kraków's Old Town. The balance of the day is free of planned activities. (B,L)

Day 4 – Krakó​w

Join your Smithsonian Journeys expert for an introductory presentation. Discover the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a World Heritage site of sparkling salt carvings and fascinating underground lakes. Wieliczka is Europe’s oldest salt mine and was established over 700 years ago. You’ll see over a mile and a half of chambers and galleries that sit 442 feet below ground. The Chapel of St. Kinga is the most remarkable with altars, chandeliers and sculptures carved entirely of rock salt. This afternoon, follow your own path and explore the city on your own. This evening join your fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for dinner and folkloric performance at Miod i Wino Restauracja. (B,D)

Day 5 – Ojcow National Park

Depart Krakow and travel out of the city to picturesque Ojcow National Park. Begin exploring with a short walk to see numerous impressive rock formations including the famous Hercules’ Club. Some limestone rocks exceed 164 feet. Next, a guide will take you through the 14th-century Pieskowa Skala Castle, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Polish Renaissance” overlooking the forested Pradnik River valley. Lunch is served at the castle restaurant.

After returning to Krakow, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for an informal discussion of the day’s discoveries. (B,L)

Day 6 – Auschwitz or Nowa Huta

Begin the day with a choice of excursions:

Choice # 1 - Auschwitz

For those who have chosen to visit Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, the visit begins at the museum with a short documentary film for a glimpse into Poland’s World War II history. Then, a guide will take you through the exhibits at the camp. Continue to Birkenau for a short visit. Lunch is included during the tour.

Choice # 2 - Nowa Huta

Created in a Krakow suburb, Nowa Huta was created at the end of World War II and created as a location for heavy industry and as a model communist community. It went from being an industrial center to a place of protest against Soviet control. Hear fascinating tales about the struggles faced in the district during the communist era. See examples of Nowa Huta’s characteristic architecture and explore the area on foot. Visit a typical Communist-period apartment and have lunch at an old school Milk Bar canteen.

After returning to Krakow, attend an interesting talk by a local speaker on the contributions of Poles to European society. (B,L)

Day 7 – Warsaw

Head for the station and travel by rail through the Polish countryside to the capital city of Warsaw. See many of the city’s historical and cultural landmarks like the Chopin Memorial, the Royal Route, the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial, Madame Curie’s house, the Royal Castle, and St. Anna’s Church in Warsaw’s Old Town. Enjoy time at leisure for leisurely sightseeing and lunch. Before returning by train to Kraków, visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum, which includes an archive of historical information on the Uprising in 1944 and the recording of the stories and memories of still-living Uprising participants. Enjoy dinner with fellow travelers at the hotel upon your return to Kraków. (B,D)

Day 8 – Kraków

Today, explore the district of Kazimierz, Krakow’s artistic quarter characterized by winding streets and trendy cafes. This is an area that witnessed Krakow’s Holocaust. Visit Wolnica Square, the former Jewish district with its synagogues, and the old meat market. Before World War II, Jewish culture flourished in this neighborhood for centuries. Steven Spielberg filmed scenes for his Oscar award-winning film Schindler’s List here. Continue to the district of Zablocie to visit Oskar Schindler’s factory-museum and the remnants of the wartime ghetto that has survived. The balance of the day is at leisure so that you can explore on your own. This evening, gather with Smithsonian Journeys friends for a special farewell reception and dinner at a popular local restaurant. (B,R,D)

Day 9 – Depart for the U.S.

Get an early start this morning and transfer to the Krakow Airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)